To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public
Kyodo World Services, senior sports writer：firstname.lastname@example.org）
YOSHIDA WINS QUEENS CUP BATTLE WITH YAMAMOTO
ASHIKAGA, Tochigi (April 6) - World champion Saori Yoshida grabbed an
early five-point lead and held on for an
8-3 triumph over archrival Seiko Yamamoto
at the Japan Queens Cup women's wrestling
competition. Yoshida dropped Yamamoto with
a three-point double-leg takedown to open
the 55-kg final at Ashikaga Municipal Gymnasium
and then added a quick two-point exposure
with a half nelson for a 5-0 lead less than
60 seconds into the match.
Yamamoto attempted to battle back, but
could not make up the difference as the former
three-time world champion was saddled with
her fifth straight loss to Yoshida, dating
back to last year's Queens Cup meet.
"I was a little nervous before the final,
but I was able to wrestle my style of match,"
said Yoshida, who was FILA's female wrestler
of the year in 2002. "I wasn't trying
for a three-point move at the beginning,
but used some upper-body strength to carry
her over when I got in near the out-of-bounds
line,"Yoshida said. "My physical
training has been effective and I feel I
can overpower any opponent now."
For Yamamoto, the loss was a disappointment
after her successful tour of Europe in March.
I didn't get going in the final. There was
nothing I can say."
It was also a tough day for Yamamoto's
elder sister Miyu, also a three-time former
world champion, who fell in the finals to
national champion Makiko Sakamoto. The elder
Yamamoto took an early 2-0 lead in the championship
at 48 kg, but could not get the required
third point against Sakamoto, who scored
a takedown just before the end of regulation.
In the clinch, Yamamoto gave up another
point with a failed throw and Sakamoto countered
a takedown attempt for the third and final
point at 7:00. "I thought I could do
it after I scored a couple takedowns,"Yamamoto
said after final. 的 didn稚 intend to let
my matches come down to the clinch, so I
didn't practice that. From now on, I will
practice it properly."
"As the national champion, I felt
like I shouldn't lose here,・said the 17-year-old
Sakamoto. "I knew if I gave up a point
in the clinch that the match was over, so
I was determined as ever not to go over.
I won with my stamina."
Sakamoto's own sibling, Hitomi, made
it back-to-back titles for the Aomori sisters
as she dominated world silver medalist Chiharu
Icho 5-1 for the 51-kg crown.
Also, Kyoko Hamaguchi wrapped up three
challengers in less than two minutes total
time for the 72-kg crown while reigning world
champion Kaori Icho turned away 1999 world
titlist Ayako Shoda with an 8-4 decision
for the hardware at 63 kg.
At 59 kg, Rena Iwama took a hard-fought
4-1 decision from Mariko Shimizu for the
title in a battle of veterans of international
Championship bracket results:
48 kg (18 entries)
Makiko Sakamoto def. Miyu Yamamoto 3-2, 7:00
Miyuki Hiraoka def. Mika Noguchi by injury
Miyu Yamamoto def. Mika Noguchi by injury
default (5:22, 3-1)
Makiko Sakamoto def. Miyuki Hiraoka 8-3
Mika Noguchi def. Momoko Sera 3-1
Miyu Yamamoto def. Yuri Funatsu by fall,
51 kg (13 entries)
Hitomi Sakamoto def. Chiharu Icho 5-1
Yu Sekine def. Madoka Shimokawa by fall,
Chiharu Ichjo def. Madoka Shimokawa by tech.
sup. 10-0, 1:32
Hitomi Sakamoto def. Yu Sekine by tech. sup.
55 kg (8 entries)
Saori Yoshida def. Seiko Yamamoto 8-3
Chikako Matsukawa def. Mari Fukuzawa by injury
59 kg (8 entries)
Rena Iwama def. Mariko Shimizu 4-1
Ayako Suga def. Kei Yamana 8-5
63 kg (12 entries)
Kaori Icho def. Ayako Shoda 8-4
Mimi Suga def. Saki Kanazawa 13-6
Kaori Icho def. Saki Kanazawa
Ayako Shoda def. Mimi Suga
67 kg (4 entries, round robin)
1. Norie Saito, 2. Eri Sakamoto, 3. Miki
Ninomiya, 4. Maki Tsukamoto
Norie Saito def. Eri Sakamoto 4-3
72 kg (4 entries)
1. Kyoko Hamaguchi, 2. Ayako Murashima, 3.
Takako Matsui, 4. Miwako
Kyoko Hamaguchi def. Ayako Murashima by fall,